Saturday, June 11, 2016

"Turn Your Love Around"

A variety of animals have excited Bella recently. A rat has been running along the branches of the back yard tree nightly to get at the ripe plums there. Exciting! Bella also surprised a rat near the DMV, making it run.

There have been cats galore too. Bella rested near the chain-linked area where the Siamese cat likes to sit. To my surprise, Bella didn't even notice the cat, sitting comfortably just two feet away from Bella but impervious behind the fence, until I started talking to it.

Lots of burrito fragments have been cast aside on the sidewalk near the Mexican restaurant, to Bella's delight. The other night, a street person walked up and handed me a paper bag containing a plastic sandwich basket. "This is for the doggie poop," he explained. "They won't let me take this on the light rail." He headed off down the sidewalk. Nevertheless, he didn't board the light rail. Instead, he crossed the street to the On Broadway Lounge, where some dreadfully-loud karaoke was in progress, namely, George Benson's "Turn Your Love Around". I hurried past, hoping the Commodores' "Three Times A Lady" wasn't next on the Early Eighties easy-listening playlist.

I've called the police from my cell phone a couple of times recently. There was a fellow running a grinding wheel at midnight on the door stoop of the Used Car Lot Sales Shack, where the police made an arrest just a week ago, or so. He was making - what? - a key? A piece of jewelry? There's probably an unguarded electrical outlet there. Plus, I also noticed a homeless man was noisily making a nest behind the AM/PM's air conditioning unit at 2 a.m. So, called the cops. A two-fer.

Plus, there were two creepy-looking workman creeping around the apartment building fenced in with chain link on the southwest corner of 19th & T Streets at 1:30 a.m. We exchanged a hard look. That building was damaged in a fire in February, 2015, but recently has been undergoing repair. The ironic thing is, these workmen may actually belong there. They may be living temporarily in the van in the apartment building's driveway. Still, it's a fenced-in construction site, so I called the cops in the hope they would check out the creepy workmen anyway.

The Unaccountable Media

Excellent article:
As the presumed loser from the outset, Sanders didn’t get negative coverage so much as he got negligible coverage. An analysis by the TV News Archive of cable television coverage since January 2015 provides graphs of Clinton’s and Sanders’ mentions that look alike, save for one thing: Clinton was getting vastly more coverage than Sanders. How much more? On CNN, Clinton got more than 70,000 of the Democratic-candidate mentions, while Sanders got just under 42,000. On MSNBC, Clinton got more than 93,000 mentions to Sanders’ roughly 51,000. On Fox News, she got more than 71,000 mentions to his more than 28,000. The numbers are similar on the Lexis-Nexis database of newspapers. In the past 30 days, Clinton received 2,591 mentions, Sanders only 922. By comparison, Trump got 5,568.

Meg Whitman Has Cold Feet

Times, they are a changin'. Meg Whitman, who ran for California Governor as a Republican, may support Clinton:
Meg Whitman, president and CEO of Hewlett Packard Enterprise, reportedly shocked other members of a closed-door summit organized by Mitt Romney Friday night when she raised the prospect of supporting Clinton, according to ABC.

"She posed the question, 'Is it not reasonable to support Hillary Clinton?' given all the awful things Trump has said," donor John Chachas to ABC.

Whitman, who served as Romney's finance co-chair in 2012, told ABC News she would wait until runningmates are chosen in order to make her final decision.

"I haven't made that decision," she said, according to ABC. "We’ll see, get to the conventions, see who the vice presidential picks are. And then I will make that decision."

This was not the last shocking thing Whitman reportedly said, according to ABC. Whitman allegedly went on to compare Trump to Hitler and Mussolini and confronted Paul Ryan to ask how he could support Trump.

Jeb Bush's Strategist Makes Me Laugh

Skunked by Trump, but not dead yet:
HARWOOD: Paul Manafort, Tony Fabrizio who have gone on board with Trump: What is their capacity to overcome some of this resistance with their connections, their knowledge of the party, their ability to talk to Republican audiences?

MURPHY: Well, they know how to do the basic mechanics, but that's a commodity. Cory Lewandowski knows how to, you know, rent a hall.

The problem is they're like Charlie Manson's fox trot instructors. Yeah, they could teach him how to dance. But he's too busy trying to cut their heads off, because he's insane.

So they can add the noise of a campaign. But it's ultimately all about Trump. And Trump's favorite thing to do is rent a hall, read the crowd, tell them what they like to hear, and then get on his plane and watch himself on cable.

They can't change him. And he's the strength of the Trump campaign, and he's the fatal flaw.

Republicans Are Too Stupid To Understand That "La Raza" Is A Neutral Term

Countering the hysterical smear:
"La Raza San Diego is a 501(c)(6) nonprofit trade organization and an affiliate of the California La Raza Lawyers Association. [It] mainly serves as a professional resource for its Latino and non-Latino members that include lawyers, judges, and law students. The group organizes seminars, networking events, and a scholarship fund.

'La Raza is a pretty ordinary group of lawyers, basically organized around shared ethnicity and non-exclusive for that' ..."

Field Observer

May As Well End It Right Now

Wait Till The Reptiles Arrive

From Neill Woelk:

Thursday, June 09, 2016

Sanders Has Been Here Before

The struggle continues:
Few prominent figures have won and lost as many times as Sanders. He is a former mayor and a veteran member of Congress. But he lost races for the the US Senate, the US House, and Vermont’s governorship before getting to Washington. Sanders sees the political process as an ongoing struggle to advance a progressive vision for America that picks up where Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal left off. He is a democratic socialist who calls for “a political revolution,” and he is realistic about what that entails.

So, it should be noted, are his issue-focused supporters. They recognize the “very, very steep fight” that Sanders describes. They know why they have waged it, and they know why they will continue to wage it—with a sense of urgency and necessity.

Most Amicable Intraparty Contest EVER!

Democrats will soon conclude the most amicable intraparty contest EVER!:
"According to Kantar Media, Clinton and Sanders aired 206,528 spots between them this year—and not one was deemed “negative” by the analysts in Kantar’s Campaign Media Analysis Group (CMAG).

...The strange truce in the Democratic primary was due to a couple of quirks. Sanders doesn’t believe in attack ads. The closest he came was a commercial that briefly flashed an image of Clinton’s name in a newspaper headline and aired only in South Carolina. And Clinton initially felt she didn’t need to bother attacking Sanders. Later on, it became clear that she couldn’t afford to—she’ll need to win over his supporters to beat Trump."

Meet Samara Weaving

Troubled Persian Gulf Turbines

It's true, ambient temperature is important for turbines:
(CNN)Britain's £1bn ($1.4bn) warships are losing power in the Persian Gulf because they cannot cope with the warm waters, MPs have been told.

Six Type 45 destroyers have repeatedly experienced power outages because of the temperatures, leaving servicemen in complete darkness.

During the Defence Committee hearing on Tuesday, MPs questioned company executives about the warship failures.

"The equipment is having to operate in far more arduous conditions that were initially required," Rolls-Royce director Tomas Leahy said.

Managing director of BAE Systems Maritime, John Hudson, supported Leahy's comments, adding: "The operating profile at the time was that there would not be repeated or continuous operations in the Gulf."

Bias, Trump-Style

My Little Pony, Albuquerque-Style

Why Are Republicans Behaving Like Mexican Drug Cartels?

Great story!

Meanwhile, the Talk Radio folks are defending Trump for attacking the judge. Remember, Trump has been accused of crimes. Trump should face the court like a man, instead of trying to knock off the judge, like the Mexican drug cartel tried:
I don't think I've ever had such a visceral feeling in my life. As Trump started talking, I began planning what I would say. He made racist comments almost immediately, calling Elizabeth Warren "Pocahontas" (because she has said she is of Native American descent).

As soon as he started talking about building a wall, I knew I needed to speak up.

"Mr. Trump!" I yelled as loud as I could. "You say Mexican immigrants are rapists, but didn't your ex-wife accuse you of the same thing? You're the rapist!"

I have never seen people as shocked as the supporters in our section, with whom we had become friends. They thought we were fellow supporters, and when we showed our true colors, they showed theirs.

"GET OUT OF HERE!" one yelled in my face.

"YOU'RE THE REASON WHY WE'D BUILD A WALL!" another woman screamed in Maya's face.

That's when Trump turned to me and started berating me.

"How old is this kid?" he asked the crowd. "Get him outta here... Still wearing diapers. Look at this kid... I'm telling you, the kid looks like he's 10 years old... That's unbelievable. That's the youngest protester I've ever seen."

The Role of Hispanics

Out of curiosity, I plotted the Percentage of Hillary's Vote by Percentage of Hispanics (2013), for all the counties of California. While there is some scatter, it's clear there is a Hispanic influence there:

Catnip Madness

Wednesday, June 08, 2016

The Geographic Pattern of Clinton's Victory in California

I'm surprised by Hillary Clinton's margin over Bernie Sanders in yesterday's primary. It appears to be mostly the Hispanic community breaking for her. Bernie wins big among the young, but as evident in the Southern primaries, and Texas too, Bernie has trouble connecting to electorates with large minority populations. I suppose it's better the devil you know than the devil you don't.

Interesting also, the geographic breakdown. The hypothetical State of Jefferson in northern California broke for Sanders, as did the opposite side of the Sierras, but that wasn't enough to win. Similar tendencies were evident in the Nevada caucus results, with the north breaking for Sanders and the south for Clinton. And the location of the divide is of interest too. Yuba County went for Sanders, but Sutter County went for Clinton. That's probably the effect of Yuba Community College right there.

In any event, my overriding goal is not to live ever again under a GOP President, and I'll reluctantly support Hillary even if Bernie runs as a Green. The chance of breaking the GOP for good in 2016 is too alluring to resist. Younger folks have a longer time horizon, and can endure all sorts of indignities on the path of life, but if I have to put up with eight years of a Trump Presidency, I'll cry.

Trump-Supporting Hispanics Are Forced To Make A Choice

Because Hispanics are just about the most diverse group in America, it's no surprise there are Hispanic Trump supporters out there. Nevertheless, Trump's comments regarding U.S. District Judge Gonzalo Curiel put them in a jam. Curiel was born in Indiana, and as part of his duties, had to endure threats from Tijuana's Arellano-Felix narcotics cartel. If such a brave person isn't good enough for America, no Hispanic is, no matter how long their family has been in the country, or how well intermarried they are, or how many wars they've fought in, or how many taxes they pay. It's racism at its rawest - any trace of Latino blood is tainted. A photo op with taco salads can't bridge that gap. Trump-supporting Hispanics are forced to make a choice....

Republicans need to make their own choices. It's ironic they complain so much about Obama's constitutional activism, yet yield so easily to Trump's.

Enjoyed Helping Provide Primary Election 2016 Coverage On KUBU 96.5 FM Radio

Very enjoyable time at Stanford Settlement last night assisting Adam Sartain and Leighton Worthey in their coverage of Primary Election 2016 on The Voice of Sacramento, KUBU 96.5 FM radio (Non Commercial, Free form, Volunteer produced Radio). A number of candidates called in to discuss their campaigns, including Sacramento Mayoral candidate Angelique Ashby.

Looks like good stuff on the June schedule for KUBU. They have "Great Speeches and Interviews" on Sunday at 6 p.m. On Tuesdays at noon, they have "Two Psychic Chicks". They also feature "Electronic Dance Music" at Thursday at 2 p.m., and Friday at 2 a.m. Worth checking out!

Tuesday, June 07, 2016

The Short History of Native American Voting

Until 1948, the New Mexico Constitution forbade Native Americans from voting, and similar barriers existed in Arizona. Significant barriers to voting remain:
When Miguel Trujillo, from Isleta Pueblo and a veteran of the Marine Corps during World War II, went to register to vote, he was told by the county registrar, Eloy Garley, that he could not register since he was an Indian living on a reservation.

Trujillo was incensed. He brought suit against the county registrar and won. (Trujillo v. Garley) Felix Cohen, who had written the definitive book on Indian law, the Handbook of Federal Indian Law, was Trujillo’s attorney. Finally, in 1948, Indians in New Mexico could vote for the first time. Trujillo and Cohen became friends and worked on other issues of civil rights in New Mexico and in the South.

The case also debunked the myth that Indians did not pay taxes. The only taxes Indians did not pay, the court said, was taxes on the land the government held in trust for them. They had to pay sales taxes, income taxes, and all other taxes.

In that same year, a lawsuit by another Indian veteran, Frank Harrison, in Arizona, let Indians vote for the first time in that state. (Harrison and Austin v. Laveen) Harrison was a member of the Mohave Tribe. He had tried to register to vote in Maricopa County, Arizona, and been denied by the county recorder, Roger Laveen. The ubiquitous Felix Cohen was also one of the attorneys in this landmark case. The National Congress of American Indians, the Department of Justice, and the Department of the Interior also filed amicus curiae (friends of the court) briefs in this case. Thereafter, it was clear in all states of the union that Indians could vote in tribal, state, local and federal elections. Utah, however, did not get around to removing this barrier to Indian voting for another two decades.


Went To Vote

For some reason, I couldn't sleep even the tiniest wink last night, so I decided to do the unprecedented, and vote shortly after 7 a.m. Bella was dumbstruck at the unexpected walk, coming so soon after the walk that ended at 2 a.m. And SO exciting! So many dogs walking their masters in the bright, morning light! Huskies even! And cats too!

Voting was fast. Two teenage girls greeted a friend as she emerged from the polling place. "They let you vote!?" one asked in wonderment.(*)

KFBK Radio was interviewing a talkative voter. I resisted the urge to horn in there with my own take on events.

[(*) A strange question. What I can't convey is her friend's jesting tone of voice. The impression I received wasn't as if she had gotten away with something underhanded, but as if she was doing something for the first time, and her friend couldn't believe she wasn't stopped. Becoming an adult. Is voting age 18? She looked about 18.

It's interesting the undertones in even the most offhand of remarks. The voter's friend appeared to be slightly younger, maybe 17, so maybe a touch of envy of her friend. It appeared an artificial distinction had emerged between the friends: one could vote and one couldn't.]

How The Lesson To Never, Ever Compromise With Republicans Was Learned

With Chained CPI, Republicans nearly beat Obama on cutting Social Security benefits in 2011, but GOP arrogance and overreach eventually led Obama and all Democrats to disown the concept completely, and instead to advocate increasing benefits. A hard lesson, but a necessary one: never, ever compromise with Republicans:
At one point, the White House reportedly suggested putting chained CPI back on the table after Republicans had not presented a counteroffer on taxes with the budget deadline less than 36 hours away.

Then-Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) was apparently so peeved at the idea that he threw a note with the proposal into a blazing fire in his office fireplace.

Reid ruled out reconsidering chained CPI because it seemed to him that Republicans weren’t serious about giving ground on the Bush tax cuts, according to Jim Manley, a longtime spokesman for Reid who by then had stopped working for the senator. And that was the last time Reid ever entertained the idea of messing with Social Security.

“Since then it’s been, ‘Hell no,’” Manley said.

Texas Congressman Tells Trump to Shove the Border Wall up His Ass

The only realistic response:
South Texas congressman Filemon Vela Jr. has certainly figured out one very direct way to respond to Donald Trump's constant nationalist-racist attacks against Mexican Americans and Latinos.* From the Texas Tribune:
"Mr. Trump, you’re a racist and you can take your border wall and shove it up your ass," the Brownsville Democrat wrote in a lengthy missive to the real estate magnate.

Humor, The Republicans' Secret Weapon

Selling the Republican theme of 2016 with a bit of 'humor':
“I did you a great favor bringing you into politics in the 1860 campaign and this is how you repay me?” the former White House aide and Fox News commentator [Karl Rove] told Democratic operative Donna Brazile during a panel before billionaire hedge fund managers last month....

No Cookies

On The Take

Keeping it classy. Trump brags about screwing Moammar Gadhafi of money. At the time, Trump professed ignorance about events occurring on his own land. Should really help if Trump tries to highlight Clinton Foundation activities, or shout "Benghazi!":
Bedford Town Attorney Joel Sachs, who dealt with Trump directly on the issue, said that Trump insisted to town officials that he didn't know about the Gadhafi connection — and that officials suspected he was lying.

"We believe that Trump knew that he had leased his property to Gadhafi," Sachs said. "He definitely denied that he knew, but we had gotten a lot of evidence."

V Street Dust

Bella has developed a fondness for eating the grass to be found along V Street between 16th & 17th. I can't imagine why. To me, it looks like the rattiest grass in all of Sacramento. There must be something special about it. It reminds me of the Wine Connoisseurs of Napa Valley, who rave about Rutherford Dust. Wine made from grapes grown in the immediate vicinity of the town of Rutherford have a unique and highly-prized taste. Rutherford Dust gets the credit. I guess the same with V Street Dust. I just don't have an educated palate.

We rarely encounter freight trains on our trips criss-crossing the railroad tracks, but we did the other night. Under bright lights, that train looked Satanic in all its power and majesty.

Bella and I bumped into strange people on the street. There was the drunken Hispanic who just wanted to pet Bella. Bella liked that.

A lot of newly-displaced elderly folks are on the street now. For example, there was an elderly black man at the street corner muttering "Goddamn Cracker" to himself.

We encountered a woman returning home for the evening. We were headed the same direction and started talking. She was amazed about how quickly her daughters are learning things. "One wants to become a marine biologist. I don't know where she gets that. I haven't shown her the pictures from my surfing days at Santa Cruz. And the other one wants to become an actress." I encouraged her to look into children's theater, specifically DMTC in Davis, but there are other groups in Sacramento too. "Why not dancing at Step One?" I suggested. "It's only a few blocks away, and there is an entire Universe of activities there." She replied, "I come from a family of dancers. It's like they used to say back in my rave days, 'you gotta bounce to the music'". "Exactly," I replied. Bring everyone to Step One and we'll all bounce together."

Passel of Obstructionists